Tips and Tricks to Driving in Indianapolis

Tips and Tricks to Driving in Indianapolis

*This article isn’t meant to target or generalize drivers in any state or city, I’m simply giving recommendations based on what I’ve experienced firsthand*

Do you know when someone makes a left turn in front of you and they cut it close? Yeah well that’s what the woman in front of the person who totaled my car did. The driver who hit me didn’t bother to check oncoming traffic and tried to sneak in behind her. She made no attempt to stop, she actually sped up. She hit me from the driver side and sent me and my roommate over a raised median. I hit my face on the airbag and my head whiplashed back giving me a concussion that still affects me today as I have memory loss. My under chassis was ripped off the car and when we finally came to a stop, I could see the coolant leaking out and hear the engine overheating. I pulled the emergency brake, turned off the car and yelled to my roommate to get out. My door had been dented in and opening it was a struggle, I remember getting out and screaming but the rest was a blur because I went into shock. She claimed the blame for totaling my recently purchased car and after 1 year, my claim was finally handled.

This is only one case of a careless driver in Indianapolis, but it triggered a fear in me that I can’t shake. I have never been one to be terrified to do something I love but driving here gives me the most anxiety and I avoid doing it at all costs. Since then, I’ve adapted to commuting in this city. Indy road and driving conditions are arguably the worst you will ever experience. Blinkers? I don’t know her. One ways? What are thoseeee. Yield? Nah I’ll decide when it’s my turn. Red lights? There’s no cameras, screw it I’m going through.

Here are some tips and tricks to driving in Indianapolis:

  1. You have to be a VERY defensive driver

You have to constantly scan your surroundings and drive for other people along with yourself, if you want to avoid getting in an accident. I drive just under the speed limit and fall behind groups of drivers to sit back and take in what’s going on around me. I’ve noticed others either being very unpredictable or careless when making maneuvers or going around people. Rarely do people use their blinkers or check their blind spots. They simply don’t care here.

     2. Speed limits are suggestions

I’ve noticed NO ONE follows the speed limits; others are either extremely fast or extremely slow. I’m not completely innocent of this, I did a pull with open road in front of me and got pulled over. I hit about 70 in a 45, but I can honestly say people don’t get pulled over in this city enough. It’s like the police don’t sit and scan (like the Chicago cops I’m used to do). Many reckless drivers get off the hook for doing what I did everywhere they go, and I feel like road safety isn’t as enforced as it should be.

     3.  Pothole city

On top of being careful of other drivers, you also have to scan the road in front of you for crater size, bottomless potholes. I’ve heard too many stories from my friends taking Ls because their tires either blew or they dented their wheels. It’s a car enthusiast’s worst nightmare and I now understand why there isn’t a huge car scene in this city; a lowered car wouldn’t last a week driving around here. My poor boyfriend came to visit me and nailed a couple nasty ones driving us around and heading home. He blew BOTH his front tires the last time he was here, and I sat with him waiting for the flatbed. Thankfully he had run-flats and he could get to the closest gas station, but even those were no match for Indy roads. I blame the lack of funding for road work.

    4.  Yellow and red lights might as well be green

Do you know how you yield and wait until it’s clear to make a left turn at an intersection? Well you might as well wait behind the line for the next green arrow because I can guarantee at least someone from oncoming traffic will go through the red. I blame the lack of red light cameras. I’ve also noticed a lot of people go through stop signs like they might as well not be there, this is another thing to be cautious for.

    5.  Yielding isn’t a thing

If you’ve driven through any round-a-bouts you know exactly what I’m talking. People fail to yield, cut in front of you, and force you to slam on your brakes. If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone fail to yield at a 4 way stop sign intersection, I wouldn’t have to worry about my tuition cost. It’s like they know they should be respectful and wait, but they chose to put themselves first because they either don’t care or have a stick up their ass rushing.

    6.  Distracted driver

I have no chill when people are on the phone while driving. If I see you putting yourself and others in danger, you best believe I’m going to lay my horn while making eye contact with you until you free yourself of the distraction. I blame texting and driving for all the lane drifting and failure to maintain following distance. I’ve nearly been side swiped so many times because people don’t notice because they’re distracted.


Hopefully these tips and tricks help you stay safe on the road!